Sep 4, 2020

Coronavirus: How To Overcome Anxiety When Returning To The Workplace

Kristin Kerr

nd just like that, summer has come and gone and it’s time for many of us to head back to school, or maybe even back into the office. Returning to work or school can be stressful, especially during a pandemic. It comes as no surprise that a recent survey by Pew found that one-third of Americans reported experiencing high levels of psychological distress since the start of the pandemic. How can we overcome anxiety that comes with returning to work and public life.

Overcome Anxiety With Preparation

For many of us, returning to work during a pandemic is likely a first. When returning to the workplace, think about how you can prepare yourself to stay safe in public. 

- Do you usually take transit to work? Maybe you can start biking if the commute is short enough. If not, think about how you can manage your commute and what sort of protective gear and sanitizing supplies you can keep on you

- Do you typically take a lunch break inside of the office? Consider taking it outside to safely manage eating and drinking while at the workplace

- Most employers will provide employers with notes on what precautionary measures they are taking re: COVID-19, but if it makes you feel more at ease, try asking your employer what safety precautions they’ll have in place. Will they have masks available for employers who don’t bring their own?


Start Your Morning Properly To Overcome Anxiety

If you weren’t already a morning person, pandemic mornings might be a whole new world for you. You don’t want to be rushing out the door with your hands full and then realize halfway down the elevator that you forgot your mask and hand sanitizer on the kitchen counter.

- Give yourself time. Plain and simple. If you’re the kind of person to hit snooze 4-5 times before you roll out of bed, try laying your clothes out the night before (mask included) so you aren’t running around like a madman on Monday morning.

- Are you a regular news watcher? Now more than ever, the news can be a depressing and anxiety triggering source of information for many of us. If you know the news will disrupt your mornings and cause even more anxiety about the pandemic, try tuning in later in the day so you can start your day fresh. Alternatively, try scrolling through Twitter instead on your way to work so you aren’t completely absorbing each story.

Make Time For YOU

Yay, you’re back to work and you have a routine again! Well that’s all great, it’s also important to consider scheduling in time to relax and enjoy yourself, which can help overcome anxiety and stress. Maybe you picked up some sweet hobbies during quarantine. Don’t let your back to work schedule take those away from you. 


For example, maybe you’ve started everyday with a brisk morning walk around your neighbourhood as you sip your coffee. As you transition back to the workplace, try getting off the bus a few stops early and walk the rest of the way home. Maybe you had a weekly Facetime call with your friends during quarantine to practice social distancing. Keep this routine! 

Now more than ever, it’s important for everyone to tune into their feelings and take their symptoms of anxiety seriously. 

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